Lucky Bastard Movie Review
Written by John Colianni
Released by Cavu Pictures
Directed by Robert Nathan
Written by Lukas Kendall and Robert Nathan
2014, 94 minutes, Rated NC-17
Premiered on February 14th, 2014
Don McManus as Mike
Jay Paulson as Dave G.
Betys Rue as Ashley Saint
Chris Wylde as Kris
Some people may think that the found footage genre is an easy one to pull off. On the surface, what looks like a bunch of people with handy-cams running through the woods in search of ghosts and legends or fleeing from infected apartment building inhabitants is actually full fledged media production created solely for your entertainment. The fact remains that even with a limited budget and resources, the intent of these specific films is to give the illusion that whatever the filmmakers are choosing to show their intended audiences is genuine. This is the very reason there aren't many of these films that are critically acclaimed. Once the viewers know everything is fake (or at least not plausible) then there is little that can be done to re-establish credibility.
Robert Nathan's Lucky Bastard is an attempt at this. In the the fabled land of the Internet, the amount of pornographic material is so vast, even the Pope could manage to muster up an erection. Lucky Bastard is one of those paid sites that partners up users with the chance to bang their favorite porn star for a chance at online fame. The only catch is that the videos are usually humiliating to the winners, making them a laughing stock to the audience. All seems to be going well with their new contestant, Dave, or so they think. Once he is kicked off the set for knowing a bit too much personal information about Ashley Saint (his chosen porn star) and some humiliating sexual performance issues, he returns shortly, seeking revenge. What follows is over an hour of time you'll wish you had spent watching something else.
The premise that writer Lukas Kendall and director Robert Nathan drew up is definitely an original one. The world of porn tends to be unspoken of outside dark rooms lit only by computer screens. While not too many people are willing to admit they've enjoyed such things or even what their seemingly strange fetishes may be, it can indeed be a world of horrors to the wrong set of eyes and ears. One would think that a compelling plot could be formulated to truly shock horror and cringe seekers alike. Unfortunately this is not the case. Right from the start, Lucky Bastard suffers from each character's forced dialogue. If that is something you've managed to muster through in the past, the fact that nothing spectacular happens in the hour and thirty seven minutes of screen time should be warning enough. Those looking for Hostel-esque ultra-violence or anything more than a few people being offed in any sort of captivating manner will be extremely disappointed. Is this a plot of Lucky Bastard a feasible one in the world we live in today? Absolutely. Was it executed in a way that I was able to buy into its “authenticity” as a lost tape? Absolutely not.
No one will deny that the world of independent cinema is a difficult one to break into. Many obstacles stand in the way of filmmakers: access to a solid budget, decent talent to perform, marketing and advertising and seeking an audience to actually view a finished product. This is why it is very important for a movie in the found footage genre to be able to convince its viewer base that what they're witnessing on screen is actually happening. What many find truly horrifying is how they're able to imagine themselves in the situation of those in the film they are watching. Lucky Bastard dropped the ball hard in this respect and couldn't do much for me to recover from it. For those looking to supplement this plot premise, may I suggest watching Cannibal Holocaust simultaneously with that one porno where some guy sticks his junk in a large cheese pizza.